Other interesting changes that I saw...
- Elemental affixes on monsters will no longer give resistances to those elements.
- Some brutal monster affixes got nerfed. Mortar has a bigger dead-zone. Invulnerable minions will have fewer health on the main guy.
- The Lyceum can spawn again! I should be able to close out several achievements now.
- The enchantress won't turn Robb into a chicken.
- ilvl will now be shown on all high level items. I'm glad for this since my contention has been that I simply couldn't feasibly find upgrades from hell/Act I. Now I'll be able to see for sure if that was true or not.
Sky, Tom, and I were musing on the way back from Andrew's place this weekend about the best way to get loot post-patch. Elites at the start of Act I will die significantly faster than elites at the end of Act III but will only have a 2% chance of dropping the highest ilvl item compared to 8% from the Act III mob. For the second tier of items it goes from a 7.9% chance to a 16.1% chance. And for something that salvages into Inferno quality materials the difference is 17.7% compared to 24.1%. Then there's the added trouble of actually finding elite packs to kill, time spent sifting through everything that drops, and how long it takes to build up a 5-stack of the buff and the worry of dropping it. My gut feeling was that just plowing through Act I over and over was going to be the best but I'd like some way to quantify things.
I'm thinking the idea might be to plot out a few potential paths to run. Keep a count of how long it takes to do the entire path, including loot sorting, and a count of how many yellow+ items drop on the run. Keep in mind that bosses are only guaranteed to drop one rare with a full buff stack and every elite pack is also guaranteed to drop one rare. What paths should be tested?
An advantage to starting early in an Act is you get to fight all the story bosses and they tend to be pretty trivial compared to random dudes. The advantage to starting late in an Act is you have a bunch of waypoints to hit should you get stuck in an area. Personally I can't get stuck in Act I, I don't think, but Act III has been a real problem. The areas there are pretty linear so if I run into a pack I can't kill I have to abandon the area entirely (or try to teleport hop to the exit).
For Act I my path should probably start with the north-west gate story point. Doing Haedrig's dirty work for him doesn't feel like it drops enough stuff and this way I should get to kill the Skeleton King, Warden, and Butcher along with practically every elite that spawns in the whole act. It will take a fair amount of time to complete but most of that time will be spent with a full buff stack so it should be reasonably optimal.
For Act II I think I want to kill Maghda at least. The plot points before her aren't terribly useful I don't think and I have to clear out most of the world map to get my buff stack pre-Maghda anyway. As things stand I wasn't able to kill Belial but I think with the infinite teleport passive I might be able to pull it off now. And if I can't, no loss, as long as I can kill the elites before him.
What about Act III? I haven't actually done most of the act, getting the plot point at the end from a game with Tom and Sky. So I can either start at the beginning or I can start at the end and cherry-pick zones without bosses. I'll probably try one of each just to get the rest of the plot points actually done on Inferno. I suspect I'll end up getting stuck behind an unkillable pack at some point, but it's certainly worth trying to see.
My initial money is on Act I being the best, especially since I should be able to switch back to my disintegrate spec and just murder everything. Playing with blizzard and piercing orbhas let me kill things in Act III but it really hurts my hand with all the frantic clicking everywhere. Anyone else have any paths that could be good? Any bets on which will work out best?